we’ve been buying a lot of furniture over the past month or so, and a new coffee table for our living room was sort of the last big piece we felt like we needed within the near future. (our old coffee table is currently standing in as a tv stand in the basement). not really happy with any of the options (or prices) we were seeing for coffee tables at various places, i thought about how i’d always wanted to make or have a piece of furniture with hairpin legs. after a quick browse through pinterest, i discovered many iterations of this table and figured it would be pretty simple to make. and i was right! i’m proud to say that this table is being brought to you from kevin and i argument-free and that we remain happily married after assembling it. (the same can’t be said for many, many ikea and target items). so, if you’re in the market for a coffee table (or a number of other kinds of tables – the size and height of this is easily adapted), and have a few hours to spare over a weekend, read on!
-1 piece of wood – size could vary greatly; we got a 3/4″ piece of pre-cut pine from lowe’s that is 24″ x 48″ and we’re very happy with the size; you could also cut a piece this size in half and make two square end tables
-4 1/2″-thick, 16″ tall hairpin legs (we ordered these)
-1 8-oz can of wood stain in your desired color (optional)
-1 8-oz can of polyurethane (if you like the stain of your wood as-is, you could skip the can of stain and go straight to poly)
-foam brush or rags for staining and sealing
-12 screws (you’ll want ones that are about as long as your wood is deep – ours were 3/4″)
-a well-ventilated area
lay your wood on some cardboard or newspaper to keep your floors clean of stain and poly. following the instructions on the can, apply a thin coat of stain to your wood, making sure to get the sides as well (we just stained the top and sides, and didn’t worry about the “bottom”). allow to dry for recommended time, then apply a second coat if desired. allow that to dry, and then move on to the poly, again following the instructions on the can. if you want to really seal your table and make it more waterproof, apply a few coats of poly over the next few days, allowing each coat to dry for about a day. wait about a day after your last coat of poly to move on to the next steps.
we placed our legs slightly inward of the edges. why? because my dad did that once when he helped us with another table and kevin remembered that and thought it was important so we did it. who really knows. we are the two least handy people on the planet so we aren’t really in the business of not heeding such sage advice.
power tools! my favorite part.
flip it over, dust it off, and voila, a new coffee table!
(sorry for the poor lighting of the final picture – this is what happens when you’re rushing to finish a blog post in the early morning before work and it’s october and the sun doesn’t rise until 7:30)
i estimate that this whole project cost us right around $120 – about $85 for the legs + shipping, and the remainder in supplies and of course, the wood. it could be even cheaper if you skipped the stain and had some screws lying around. regardless, it’s a much more affordable option than lots of other coffee tables out there, and it’s custom-made which is much more personal and special. hoping to do a full living room tour soon! send us photos if you decide to make anything with hairpin legs!